The best handheld GPS for hunting that we want you to know about are specified below. GPS (Global Positioning System), has found its way into all aspects of our lives, in our cars, wristwatches and cellular phones. It is most definitely one of the greatest inventions of the last century. Getting lost is a thing of the past as we can use the technology to navigate unfamiliar territory, and if needs be, find our way home.
Which brings us to GPS technology for hunting. Setting off into the woods can be a rush of excitement and adrenalin as you spot your target, line up for the kill and take the shot, not quite felling the prize it leaps up and bounds away from you deeper into the woods, you follow the wounded animal and mercifully put it out of its misery, once the initial rush of the kill recedes, you look around and realize you have no idea where you are in relation to home base.
Enter the handheld GPS device for hunting. No longer will you find yourself getting lost and disoriented if you invest in this smart technology. The GPS devices used for hunting are not like the average GPS systems found in other devices such as your phone or sports watch. These handheld devices are specifically designed for trekking in the wilderness.
Best Handheld GPS For Hunting
There are many handheld GPS devices available and selecting the right one all comes down to features and the hunters’ needs in a particular environment. Let’s look at a few of the features you should look out for when choosing your GPS device:
The Device’s Display Quality
Often overlooked when selecting a device, being able to see the display at all times whether it is in direct sunlight, at night or in cloudy weather is an important feature to look for.
The Device’s Interface
All devices come with an operating system and software of some kind, usually with a touch screen. For ease of use, find the most user-friendly interface you can with an intuitive menu system. Being able to make selections with your hunting gloves on is also beneficial.
The Device’s GPS Reception
An extremely important part of the device’s feature set, the reception of the device has to be able to pinpoint position under all conditions, make sure the device has an external antenna, this will help maintain accuracy when in the woods or canyons.
Most of the high-end handhelds have WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) included, this enhances the device’s GPS positioning up to 3 meters or more.
The Device’s Overall Weight And Size
The handheld GPS devices come in a range of sizes influenced by the size of the screen, with the increase in size comes additional weight, find a balance between the two that you are comfortable with.
The Device’s Storage Capacity
A handheld with an inbuilt SD card is ideal because it provides more storage memory for topographical maps of the area and the all-important data which is collected and stored.
The Device’s Battery Life
All handheld GPS devices need power to operate, the battery life is key, is the battery easily replaced and or rechargeable? Carrying an extra battery or charging pack is recommended. Make sure the battery is lithium as they generally last longer in the field.
A Robust And Versatile Build
As with all handheld objects, you can at times drop them. Your best bet is to go for a GPS that is both waterproof and shockproof in design and build. Easy connectivity to a personal computer via USB cable for software updates and map uploads although not critical is a handy feature.
Depending on the device, you can get the display in color or “black and white”. Ensure that the maps displayed on the device’s screen are clear and well defined. Topographical maps make it easier to distinguish between terrain types at a glance.
Here are a few top rated handheld GPS devices for the purposes of hunting:
The Garmin Oregon 600
Over time the Oregon 600 has gained a reputation as the best handheld GPS device for hunting on the market. Sporting an appealing 3-inch touchscreen display the device includes dual band GPS/GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System).
The device comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity for data transfer wirelessly, perfect for sharing data with other compatible devices. Size and weight mean it can be easily stashed in a pocket for easy access. A bit on the pricey side, there are cheaper alternatives but don’t let this put you off looking at the Oregon as an excellent all-round choice for hunting.
The Garmin GPSMAP 64ST
Although the Garmin 64ST does not include a touch screen it is still packed with features. The inbuilt GPS and GLONASS technology is incredibly accurate, and the device comes standard with high-quality topographical maps.
Robust build quality for peace of mind, it can also hook up to your iPhone so you can receive important texts or emails whilst out on the hunt. Good value for money, the Garmin GPSMAP 64ST is a handheld GPS device to consider.
Out on the hunt, having the right technology with you at all times, especially a GPS device, can make the experience a lot more safe and satisfying knowing that wherever you are after chasing down your target, you will not find yourself lost or without any sense of direction home. With electronics getting smaller, smarter and cheaper, adding a high-quality handheld GPS device to your hunting gear should be a high priority purchase. These two products are the best handheld GPS for hunting that we recommend.
Want to read about our best GPS reviews for hiking? Read about them here
Don’t need a GPS that is handheld? We recommend this one here
Need a GPS watch? Check out our favorite one here